Business And Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng Backs Winter Fuel Readiness Campaign

6th October 2020

UK minister for business, energy and clean growth Kwasi Kwarteng MP has this week announced his support for liquid fuels trade association the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) Get Winter Ready campaign.

Minister Kwarteng said: “With colder months on the way, it is crucial that households relying on oil and liquified petroleum gas for their heating are prepared, so I am fully supporting this Get Winter Ready campaign.

“As the global coronavirus pandemic continues to have an impact on everyday life, it is more important than ever to get prepared and stay warm and safe this winter.”

Guy Pulham, UKIFDA Chief Executive adds “It is our hope that this campaign will help and encourage the 1.5m UK households who have oil heating to take winter readiness measures. Oil is currently the cheapest form of heating so it’s worth ensuring you have enough to last the whole winter. The Covid-19 pandemic also means it is even more crucial to order ahead of the winter months as an increase in the number of coronavirus cases and further potential lockdowns would increase the pressure on the supply chain at the time of year when pressure is already high.

“Due to COVID 19 and more local lockdowns being enforced we particularly want to encourage those who are aged 75+, who use oil to heat their homes to get winter ready and in particular sign up to the Cold Weather Priority (CWP) scheme, an initiative designed to help prevent excess winter deaths.

“The Cold Weather Priority initiative is industry-led and was created in full consultation with, and fully supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It has been designed to enable our UKIFDA member heating oil suppliers to identify those most vulnerable so they can ensure deliveries are prioritised for them when there are supply shortages or the weather is extremely cold.”

UKIFDA Membership Manager Dawn Shakespeare comments: “The elderly are most at risk during the winter months as cold homes can be so destructive for individuals. Being cold can cause various health problems, increasing blood pressure or reducing the immune system and putting people at greater risk of respiratory illnesses. With Coronavirus an added risk it is vital the elderly keep warm this winter.

“With the CWP scheme, our member suppliers can identify those most at risk from the cold and take proactive steps to prioritise deliveries to them, ensuring they have enough fuel to stay warm throughout winter. A warm house is key in the fight against excess winter deaths.

“We want as many elderly heating oil customers as possible to be part of the Cold Weather Priority scheme so now is the perfect time to sign up as it will ensure you are part of the scheme before winter sets in.

“It costs nothing to be part of the Cold Weather Priority initiative and you only need to ask your local UKIFDA Member oil distributor who supplies your heating oil and they will help. Similarly, if you have elderly neighbours or friends who also use heating oil to heat their homes, encourage them to sign up and stay warm all winter. Some Members have also temporarily extended this scheme to offer priority delivery to those in the age bracket 70+ and where possible those who must self-isolate due to COVID 19.

UKIFDA has advice on its website about taking winter readiness measures and ordering heating oil during the pandemic which can be found here and to find out more about the Cold Weather Priority, visit https://ukifda.org/cold-weather-priority-initiative/

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